Funaka’s Scratchbuilding Guide

Hazel Hummingbird Before Paint

Every wanted to do a heavy modification to you kit? The kind that you can’t do just by swapping parts around from different kits? Or maybe you want to create something new from the ground up. This article covers design, materials, tools and techniques for a variety of scratchbuilding and detailing methods. Click the title below to view/download the PDF: Funaka’s Scratchbuilding Guide

Wood Grain Technique

This technique combines a few other basic techniques together to create a fairly realistic looking natural wood grain effect. The first step is to paint the parts with a light and neutral wood color, for this example, I used tan. Take note of the type of paint used (lacquer, enamel, acrylic). Depending on the type of paint used, a protective clear coat may be required. This is similar to the wash technique for panel lines – using the different properties of different paint types. For this example, I used Mr Color tan, a lacquer based paint. The next step is an exercise in dry brushing. I mixed vallejo acrylics burnt sienna and light brown. Notice that I’m using an acrylic based paint for the dry brushing. I can also use an enamel based paint. These two paints won’t mix with … Read More

Decal Creation Tutorial

Sometime in 2010 I finally finished this… I worked on this decal tutorial on and off for at least a year. When you see it in its 37-page glory I think you’ll see why it took so long to finish. Rather than make another massive multi-part series of webpages like I did with my scratchbuilding tutorial, I just made this PDF: Funaka’s Creating Custom Decals.pdf Now you too can make decals like these!!! :)

Light Curing Putty

A few years ago, I found an interesting, yet very expensive tube of putty. The label read “Light Curing Putty”. I’m always up for experimenting and decided to try the stuff out. I almost use this putty exclusively for my putty work. The stuff cures under a direct light source. I simply spread a small amount over the area I want repaired, then turn on the light and allow it to cure for about 30 seconds to a minute. It doesn’t take very long under direct light. The putty should not be allowed to sit under the light for longer than several minutes as once it cures, the carrier solution will start to break down the putty if it has not been wiped away. So when curing, test the putty’s hardness with a skewer. And once cured, use a paper … Read More

Panel Lines – Enamel Wash

There are hundreds of methods for doing panel lines. The best method is what works best for you. What you are comfortable with, what you are used to using. It’s a good idea to try out several techniques before settling down on your favorite technique. In the past, I have used gundam markers, very fine mechanical pencils, and very fine technical pens; but I have settled on the enamel (oil) wash method as my primary panel line method. It’s very cost efficient in comparison to some of the other techniques. But there are very specific steps that need to be taken for this process to be successful. Again, there are a hundred different ways to panel line, this just one method – and it is VERY specific. Surface should be gloss coated with either a lacquer based clear or acrylic … Read More

Preshading with the Airbrush

Once you get the basics of airbrushing practiced, it’s time to move up a level and get some practice with airbrush control. The basics of this technique is to paint a base color first, then follow this with a lighter tone to created a shaded effect. The shading effect is completely optional, some folks like the look, others don’t, so doing so is just personal preference. There are some setting factors that are part of this technique: air pressure regulation thinning ratios airbrush distance The first part of this is your basic airbrushing technique. Spray a light mist coat followed by slightly heavier coats until the part is completely painted. For the base coat, I usually pick a color that is darker than the the second layer. I usually try to avoid really dark colors such as black and dark … Read More

Basic Airbrushing

Thinning The basics of using the airbrush starts with proper paint thinning. But thinning in itself is difficult to teach through a website as there are just too many factors in affect. The same exact thinning ratio will work for a particular person, but for a different person will not work. The reason for this is the environmental factors that attribute to each person’s painting situation. Painting in a high temperature and humid environment differs greatly from a low temperature, low humidity, and also high humidity and low temperature. Additionally, the exact viscosity of the same brand, color, and type of paint may be different to two people in the same area. One may have had more of the paint’s carrier evaporated than the other, basically a fresher batch of paint verses a old batch of paint. Add in the … Read More

Paint Types

One of the most confusing things that got me when I first started building models was the different types of paints. Learning the hard way, different types of paints do not play well with one another and an attempt to mix paints of different types ended up with a gloppy mess of wasted paint. There are three main paint types offered at the local hobby shops: Lacquer/Solvent based, Acrylic/Alcohol/Water based, and Enamel/Oil based paints. Lacquer Paints These are strong paints and probably the most hazardous to your health. But they are amazing paints. The pigments in lacquer paints are very fine and some of the most vibrant model paint colors are found through this type of paint. Brands include Mr Color, Mr Surfacer, Alclad II, Tamiya spray cans, Model Masters Lacquer, Finisher’s, and Gaia Notes. I have used Mr Color … Read More

How to fix seams

Taking a look at your standard gunpla box, you will notice how nice the kit in the pictures look. It is after you put the kits together that you notice differences between the kit presented on the box and the kit you have just snapped together. One of those differences you notice is on the two part pieces, they all look like they’re one whole piece, the line down the middle of these parts are missing. Granted this could be photoshop at work done to remove those lines; but for most model builders, those lines were removed using simple techniques. There are several ways to fix seams in model kits. What works best for one person, may not be what works best for another. This article will discuss a few methods for filling in seams. The first method is to … Read More

Cutting and Sanding

One of the most important steps for building gunpla or any model for that matter, is cutting and sanding. Parts cut correctly with the correct tools will reduce the chance of damaging the parts. When cutting, use a proper cutting tool such as nippers. Nail clippers don’t give the proper leverage and cutting angles, and the blades are curved so those are not the best of tools to clip parts. Now when cutting parts, it’s best to cut away from the main part, leaving a small amount of the nub next to the piece. Cutting too close to the part stresses the plastic around the main piece as well as increases the chances of damaging the part by cutting too much plastic. Check out the following video for a demonstration on proper cutting tools and proper cutting.     After … Read More